Over the past couple of weeks, things started to go haywire around my house. The freezer in my fridge suddenly went from frozen solid to warm and squishy, three days after I spent the grocery money filling it with food, which, you guessed it – I had to toss.
A few days later I was scheduled to meet with Jeanette and our web development team-leader for a business meeting, and then accompany our pastor’s wife visiting church members who are sick. But when I got in my car, it wouldn’t start. I turned the key and it made a small chirping sound, like a cricket.
I went from the driveway to the mailbox, and opened a bill that, even after reading it several times, seemed to be asking for full payment on an amount that I had been diligently making payments on with a payment plan.
Then I broke my favorite soup bowl, cut my finger and stepped on my dog. (We are all ok, praise God!)
Go ahead and let your imagination run wild, and you’ll recognize what my reactions could have been to all these crises. I surely could not afford to buy a new refrigerator, repair the car and pay the unexpected bill in full. For a few fear-filled moments I started to triage the situation to figure out which of the things was most urgent and which I could afford to fix right now. The only answer was that I could replace the soup bowl, but that was about it.
Have you ever been there?
King Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived, no less - tells us to be careful what we think, because our thoughts run our lives. I knew that if I started to panic and take any of these mishaps into my own hands, all I would accomplish was making a mess.
In my mind, I was already in over my head. I had to let go of the problems, grab my thoughts and wrestle them back into the realm of clarity and truth.
I laid the bill, my car key and a fridge magnet before the Lord, and said, “Lord Jesus, you know exactly what is happening here. You are the Waymaker. I know that you will make a way for all these things to be taken care of, and there’s nothing for me to do right now to fix any of it. I am confident that if there are things that need to be repaired, you will make a way for that to happen. If this bill needs to be paid, you will make a way for the money to be available. Whatever I need, Lord, you always provide. I trust you, Jesus, and I give you all thanks and praise forever and ever! I leave all these things in your mighty hands. Amen!”
I let go of worrying about it and went on with my day; setting the bill aside, bowing out of the business meeting and asking our dear pastor’s wife to please pick me up when it was time to go visiting. Whenever a tidbit of worry would try and sneak in I firmly thought, “No, I trust Jesus. He’s going to handle this. Not me.” I continued to praise him in my mind and heart throughout the day, refusing to let concern slip in.
When my sweet friend brought me home from visiting that evening, everything aligned for us to easily use her car battery to jump my car; which started right up and has been running fine ever since.
Checking the refrigerator again, I discovered that a huge slab of ice was stuck under the freezer drawer, keeping it from closing and causing it to not stay cold. All I had to do was defrost it and remove the ice block.
Re-reading the bill, as bright as day the line popped out that said, “If you are currently on a payment plan, you may disregard this notice.” I read it half a dozen times and hadn’t seen it before.
Glory to God in the highest! All the problems dissolved at once!
Let’s look at what Paul had to say to the church at Ephesus:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).
We could paraphrase Paul to say, “For we do not wrestle against appliances, or automobiles or unpaid bills…but against the thoughts of fear and worry that the enemy places in our minds in the midst of the trials we face every day.”
It doesn’t matter to the enemy of our souls if all the car needs is a little boost for the battery or if all the fridge needs is a good defrosting. If he can entice us to forget who we are in Christ, panic, and take matters into our own hands, he knows that we will create enough problems on our own that we’ll make his job of terrorizing us a piece of cake.
Beloved, I know that there are times when what seems like a major crisis really is a major crisis; the doctor’s report is dire, the bills are past due and there simply is no money, our children are in deadly peril or our marriage is broken and there’s nothing that we can do. I know. All of us have faced trials that, if it weren’t for the Lord, we would simply no longer be here.
But we must take our relationship with God to its ultimate expression. When we know for certain – when we truly believe – that all authority and all power have been given to Christ Jesus; when our trust in him goes beyond the natural to become supernatural through his Holy Spirit…
When our supernatural trust in him allows us to find supernatural rest and provision – even in the presence of our enemies…
When supernaturally resting in him brings us to a place of supernatural strength – his strength manifested in us…
Then we remember that because we wrestle not against flesh and blood - the battle is the Lord’s. When we place all our trust in God instead of panicking - praising him for his goodness, grace and mercy, leaving all our trials in his hands – then we experience supernatural victory - regardless of the outward circumstances.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere (2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV).